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* Attorneys may be regulated in the Commonwealth only
by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, whereas the tax on legal
services, the demarcation of taxable and exempt services, the
reporting and auditing, may in fact be legislative regulation
of the practice of law in violation of the Pennsylvania
* In the context of an audit, the attorney-client privilege
may be compromised.
What also concerns me is that absent an amendment to the
Pennsylvania Constitution, there is nothing to prevent a future
General Assembly or Governor from again utilizing property tax
to fund school districts.
In an era where every responsible public servant and every Bar
Association across Pennsylvania is advancing the cause of access
to justice, the General Assembly's tax on legal services is out
of touch. A tax on legal services will make the legal system less
accessible to the average Pennsylvanian. Further, such a tax may
in fact increase the number of pro se litigants and add even more
of a burden to the Commonwealth's already busy and stretched
Courts of Common Pleas.

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Rest assured that the MBA, together with the Pennsylvania
Bar Association, will be there for you and your clients as we
oppose this tax on legal services. What you can do is write to
your State Senator and State Representative and demand that
they oppose all efforts to tax legal services. A helpful website
with information and form letters is
site/Public/Legislative/Sales-Tax-Action-Center. The PBA's
Legislative Action portal contains everything needed for a grass
roots effort to stop this tax.

Bar Events and Initiatives
Recently, I appointed several of our members to the
combined Bench/Bar Justice Center Committee lead by
President Judge Del Ricci. This is a great example, of the
many examples, of Bench/Bar synergy. Two MBA members
and practice leaders from each division of the Court (Civil,
Criminal, Family and Orphans) will work with the Court's
committee, comprised of four Judges, Court Administrator
Michael Kehs and Deputy Court Administrator Denise
Vicario, and led by President Judge Del Ricci. The Court and
the MBA both want to help ensure that Montgomery County
develops an effective Justice Center that will serve the citizens
of Montgomery County for generations. This project may span
ten years and over $250 million. We thank the Court for the
opportunity to work together and present a single voice.
Our Judiciary Committee, under the leadership of Past
President William H. Pugh, V and Michael Shields, recently
issued its evaluations of the 2017 candidates for Judge of the
Court of Common Pleas. A qualified, learned and independent
judiciary is indispensable in a democracy centered on the rule
of law. Thank you to the Committee and its Co-Chairs for its
thorough work. The Committee's evaluations may be found
Through the Long Range Planning Committee, several focus
events are being planned to engage new lawyers and third-year
law students transitioning into the practice of law. Our goal is
to keep the MBA relevant, and all cross-sections of its members
engaged. We expect to have an upcoming event with Villanova
Law School.
As we enter spring, mark April 28 for Law Day, May 19
for the Annual Dinner Dance (to be held at the Philadelphia
Country Club, Gladwyne), and June 1 for the Montgomery Bar
Foundation's "Lawyerpalooza" talent event, which celebrates 30
years of the Foundation's philanthropic work.
The MBA is a single place to learn, socialize, network,
volunteer and make an impact on the practice of law. I hope you
will attend our spring events, take a CLE, become a Fellow of
the Bar Foundation and join the MBA in opposing any tax on
legal services.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SIDEBAR Spring 2017

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